CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Mid-American Conference has announced that Buffalo's Nate Oats and C.J. Massinburg have earned top honors for the 2018-19 men’s basketball season. Massinburg was named Player of the Year, while Oats was tabbed Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
The Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards were voted on by a 21-member panel made up of News Media Association members and the league’s 12 head coaches.
MAC Player of the Year
(First Place Votes)
-- C.J. Massinburg, G, Buffalo, Sr. (28)
-- Jaylin Walker, G, Kent State, Sr. (3)
-- Larry Austin Jr., G,
Central Michigan, Sr. (1)
MAC Coach of the Year
(First Place Votes)
-- Nate Oats, Buffalo (21)
-- Michael Huger, Bowling Green (7)
-- Rob Senderoff, Kent State (2)
-- Keno Davis, Central Michigan (2)
-- Tod Kowalczyk, Toledo (1)
Massinburg has been named the MAC East Player of the Week four times this year as he enters the conference tournament with 1,910 career points, the second highest in school history. Massinburg has also moved himself into the top 17 in the history of the league in career scoring.
“This is an extremely well deserved honor for CJ,” said Oats. “He has been our most consistent player on a Top 25 teams all year. He does everything at a really high level, whether it is score the ball, rebound the ball, or defend. CJ is a high-character, humble kid that puts his teammates, his coaches, the managers, above himself, so he's the definition of servant leadership in my opinion and there is nobody more deserving of this award since I have been in the league."
Oats, meanwhile, earns his second straight MAC Coach of the Year honor, just the sixth time dating back to 1970 that a MAC coach has won the award in back-to-back years.
Oats has already been named a semifinalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year and most recently was named a finalist for the Skip Prosser Award, which is presented annually to those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but who also display moral integrity off of it as well.
Oats has led Buffalo to its best season in school history as UB is set to begin Mid-American Conference Tournament play on Thursday. Buffalo has already set a program record for wins in a season with 28 and they set a record for MAC wins with 16. On Monday, the Bulls earned their 18th straight week in the national rankings as they are 18th in the latest AP Poll and 16th in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll.
“This honor to me is more of a staff award,” said Oats. “Our staff chemistry is at an all-time high. We have figured out as a group what it takes to win at a high level and I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful staff and some really great players. I am the recipient of an award that is really more deserving of our players and our staff.”